This is part 1 of a 5 part series sharing stories from RMN’s recently
published 2012 Annual Report.
“I would maintain that thanks
are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by
wonder.” – G.K. Chesterton
When I survey the expanse of Reconciling Ministries Network’s work over
this last year and hear the stories of transformed lives, I am immediately made happy and
simultaneously filled with wonder. Not only am I deeply grateful since I have been the beneficiary of such grace and love, but I am grateful on behalf of the many persons whose lives have been
transformed over the 30 year history of this prophetic organization. The numinous web of grace woven by RMN extends far beyond the comprehension of our own
imaginations. And this is all made possible through the generosity of donors like you. Thanks
be to God!
RMN is a stronger organization because of the leadership and dedication
of my predecessor Rev. Troy Plummer. When Troy first arrived in 2003, RMN was a very different
organization. In less than ten years, RMN has grown over 120% from 236 to 528 Reconciling Communities
in 2012. Our staff has grown to include organizing, communications, and fundraising staff who
increase our professional engagement with the church and world. We are grateful for the passion
and commitment Troy has given to RMN and wish him and his husband Walter well.
At General Conference over 500 faithful people volunteered in
collaboration with coalition partners who offered a witness for love and inclusion. Some legislative
successes include adding gender identity to the hate crimes section of the Discipline and we stopped
further harmful language from being added.
We surveyed the movement for feedback. You spoke. We listened. We heard
your call for improved communication about how RMN is making a difference. We redesigned our
e-newsletter Flashnet and print magazine Katalyst as well as amplified our presence on social
RMN’s board of directors underwent an intensive strategic planning
process that updated our work together. RMN’s revised Strategic Directions can be found by clicking here.
In 2012, we celebrated the conclusion of the five-year Called to
Witness (CTW) campaign, where over 1,000 people were mobilized to share their personal story of inclusion. CTW shifted RMN from a pastorally
(mercy) focused movement into one with an organizing strategic plan centered on proactive strategy
and clear tactics and methods for implementing that strategy. Over five years, RMN trained nearly 4,400 people with skills to strengthen and empower Reconciling leaders to create active Annual Conference Teams (ACTs) and increase the number of Reconciling communities.
This growth can be seen at all levels of the Reconciling movement: in both quantity and quality, RMN presence at Annual Conference meetings has grown and reports from ACTs detail a shift in participation at the regional level from meeting only during Annual Conference to many teams which now meet two or three times annually.
As Bishop Minerva Carcaño said at General Conference, “It is time for
the UMC to be an inclusive church. It is time for us to leave behind our power struggles, and our
limitations to see the fullness of the Body of Christ.”
As you read the stories in this report, I hope they compel us to
reimagine how we might continue to live into RMN’s vision of a renewed and vibrant Wesleyan movement that is biblically and theologically
centered. As committed disciples of Jesus Christ, Reconciling Ministries Network strives to transform the
world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and inclusion for all of God’s children.
- Where God has already proclaimed there is no such law - April 29, 2017
- Woe unto you who oppress God’s little ones - February 23, 2017
- Reflection on the first gathering of the Commission on a Way Forward - January 27, 2017